It really pains me to start an article like this, but here goes anyway: recently I posted something on Facebook that caused a bit of a stir.
I’m gonna publish a book called tastes of Melbourne women underground. So tired of male back-patting and exclusion of anything vaguely ‘feminine’ in subculture. We get it. You think you’re all awesome and we’re all just kinda average. Unless we sound like you. Ladies of Melbourne… Let’s please reject this culture.
The torrent of comments in response was overwhelming; it got up to 650 or so. (Probably at least 100 of those were mine, though… I got excited.) I wrote that post thinking that people would have a quick eye-roll and move on. Instead, I came to realise that I was not alone in feeling this way. That many of us, up to that point, had felt we needn’t even attempt to talk about it, because it seemed that no one would listen.
Out of this realisation I’ve embarked on the task of putting together an alternative, subjective musical history. The project is called ‘LISTEN’ and it’ll be written by many and varied feminists about the music they love and the musical experiences they’ve had. It’ll be published in book form and also as a website, so that as many voices as possible can be heard. The over-arching narrative of the publication will be formed by piecing together the material we’re presented with. So it’ll be a book written out of the act of listening.
But I’m writing this article to present my subjective opinion of the book that sparked the post, which I wrote having just read James Kritzler’s Noise in My Head. However, the discussion moved very quickly away from the book itself and onto broader discussions about feminism in music.